Two Emmy Awards, Six Grammy Awards, 22 American Music Awards and 30 Billboard Music Awards: Whitney Houston‘s career as a recording artist, model and actress has been celebrated, to say the least.After growing up in New Jersey singing in the church choir alongside family members and mentors such as Cissy Houston, Dionne Warwick and Aretha Franklin, Houston made it big on her own after record producer Clive Davis signed her in 1983.
Since then, Houston has gone on to become one of the top-selling artists in pop music history, with more than 55 million records sold in the United States alone and movies such as “The Bodyguard” on her resumé.
But after worldwide success came erratic behaviour and self-confessed drug use.
“The biggest devil is me. I’m either my best friend or my worst enemy,” Houston told Diane Sawyer in a now infamous 2002 interview where she coined her catchphrase, “crack is wack.”
Just this week, Houston was spotted out with her 18-year-old daughter, Bobbi Kristina, at a party in Hollywood and was expected to attend Saturday night’s Clive Davis pre-Grammy party.
But on the eve of the Grammy Awards, Houston was found dead in a bathtub in her hotel room at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles. The superstar was just 48-years-old.
Let’s take a look back at Whitney Houston’s “so emotional” journey through the years.
1963: Whitney is born in New Jersey to gospel singer Cissy Houston and entertainment exec John Russell Houston, Jr. At the urging of her cousin, singer Dionne Warwick, and godmother, Aretha Franklin, Whitney joins the church choir.
1981: At age 18 before she was a famous singer, Whitney appeared as a model (and first African American person ever) on the cover of Seventeen Magazine.
1991: Whitney sings a legendary rendition of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV in the midst of the Gulf War.
1994: Whitney is the first international star to perform in South Africa post-apartheid following the election of President Nelson Mandela.
2000: Airport security guards discover marijuana in Whitney and Bobby Brown's luggage at a Hawaii airport. Charges were later dropped but Whitney's behaviour remained erratic.
2001: Whitney signs the biggest record deal in music history with Arista/BMG. She renewed her contract for $100 million to deliver six new albums, on which she would also earn royalties.
2007: Whitney files for divorce from Bobby Brown, her husband of 15 years, and gets custody of their daughter.
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